Most know references to be a tool for checking a candidate’s background, but reference-related factors can also be one of the simplest, cheapest, and effective areas for identifying top candidates.
Even the best corporations that excel at recruiting routinely fail to realize that references and the reference process itself can be powerful sources for identifying and selling top talent.
References should be considered valuable recruiting targets because anyone who is given as a reference by top talent is almost always more experienced and knowledgeable then the individual who designated them as a reference. The availability/visibility of references has dramatically increased now that the names of references can be easily found on the Internet and within LinkedIn. As a result, smart recruiting leaders and recruiters should re-examine references as one of the most underused but cost-effective areas for identifying top talent.
The Top 8 Most Effective Reference-related Recruiting Approaches keep reading…
Chip and Dan Heath have two best sellers behind them and I suspect soon a third one. I am fortunate to know Chip, and received a pre-release of Decisive, their new book to be released on March 26. It is a must read for any business leader.
Of the many business decisions, it is often said that the most important decisions are people decisions. So the question is: How do we make better talent decisions when we know that we get it wrong half of the time? To reassure you, poor decisions are not only made in the field of talent management. The book mentions that doctors categorizing themselves as “completely certain” about a diagnosis were wrong 40% of the time.
In order to address this issue, to get it right, know what causes us to make wrong decisions. In Decisive, this is explained as “the four villains of decision making.” One that resonates with us a great deal, as we think about talent decisions, is the confirmation bias. The confirmation bias is the act of making emotional decisions and only gathering information that supports such decisions. The difficulty here is that these decisions appear to be researched and scientific, but when you look closer, they end up being subject to the confirmation bias.
Let’s look at an example and see how you can avoid the confirmation bias for you and your organization: keep reading…
In early 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office of Legal Counsel issued updated guidance regarding the handling of criminal history checks in the course of background screening. Furthermore, the EEOC has announced it will aggressively pursue, as class actions, claims of discrimination that arise as a result of criminal history checks. Although the 2012 guidance clarifies long-standing EEOC policies, it is particularly involved — and initially can be confusing for HR professionals and recruiters, alike. keep reading…
Late last year, I checked with my recruiting friends (yes, I still have a few left) and colleagues as to what they thought were the worst recruiting mistakes that companies make. What they said is below. What do you think are the worst? keep reading…
Kean University’s president
We are all familiar with the story of the Yahoo CEO who took on his role in early 2012, only to be dismissed when stories arose that he padded his resume with an embellished college degree.
Many executive screening packages only look at qualifications, work history, education, and public records, that can result in “misses” like the one above.
To help develop the “big picture,” many companies are looking to add media screening when hiring at the executive level. Media screening is a comprehensive search through various databases to access thousands of news sources including newspapers, trade publications, professional journals, articles, transcripts, and numerous others. The results of this search can include award nominations and other achievements by the applicant, and community and industry association involvement, business and job disputes, references to criminal activity, or other potentially negative information.
Is Media Screening the Same as Social Media Screening? keep reading…
co-authored by Roger G. Trim, a shareholder in the Denver office of Ogletree Deakins
As of January 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books legalizing the use of medical marijuana. A number of additional states have gone even further by passing laws decriminalizing or eliminating jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana, regardless of whether the marijuana was for medical use. Finally, two states — Colorado and Washington — passed laws on November 6, 2012, affirmatively legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Many employers are concerned about what these marijuana laws mean for them and whether they need to make any changes to their drug policies in light of recent developments. keep reading…
While there are many possible ways to use pre-hire assessments, there are some general truths associated with getting the most out of these tools. A good hiring process is a coordinated effort in which the right tool is selected for use at the right time in the process. In many cases talent acquisition professionals (including many of us I/O psychologists) are guilty of being myopic, choosing to focus on the ins and outs of one specific test. Be thorough when it comes to tests, but an effective hiring process requires a focus not only on the individual pieces, but also on the way these pieces work together.
“The funnel” provides the most tried-and-true analogy for configuring components to create a hiring process. Although the funnel may look vastly different in different situations, (for instance more emphasis on screening in high-volume situations), the overall goal is to evaluate people who are unknown to the organization in order to thin the herd while finding those who have what it takes.
While a winning hiring process should include tests, simply chucking a test in the hopper will not get the job done. Despite the many variations possible when constructing a funnel-based hiring process, there are some universal truths regarding what tools are generally most effective at various stages of the process.
Let’s take a look at a quick summary of the ideal components of a holistic and cohesive hiring process, as well as a generally accepted rough order in which they should be used.
Sourcing: Increasing the Odds Outside the Funnel keep reading…
A few days ago I received a call from a business owner conducting a reference check on a former co-worker of mine. She kept me on the phone for nearly a half hour to ask me several probing questions about the potential hire. I’ve fielded many reference calls over the years, but none of them were as strong as this one.
The typical call I get lasts five minutes with the reference checker basically saying, “We adore this candidate. You love ‘em, too, right?” They make the call hoping I won’t say anything that will cause concern about the candidate which would throttle their company back to square one of the hiring process.
These actions will help you conduct a real reference check instead of a quick cursory call: keep reading…
Background checks have been in the news this week. CareerBuilder says 51 percent of employers have hired people with criminal records.
At our sister site, FordyceLetter.com, lawyer and recruiter Jeff Allen offers some legal advice about what can, can’t, and might be ill-advised in checking references. At TLNT.com, another lawyer weighs in on the significance of the NLRB taking Costco to task over its social media policy.
All that’s important stuff. But can you really say you’ve done a thorough job if you haven’t done a past life background check? Especially when it’s so easy and free? Simply enter the candidate’s DOB here and press Diagnosis. keep reading…
A CareerBuilder survey released today says 51 percent of human resources managers report their company has hired workers with a criminal record.
It’s an almost impossible-to-believe finding, given the constant drumbeat by criminal rights organizations over the challenges those with records face in landing jobs. However, in light of the National Employment Law Project estimate that 65 million Americans have some kind of criminal record, it’s not so surprising that many are on payrolls across the country.
The online survey was conducted for CareerBuilder by Harris Interactive, which polled 2,298 U.S. hiring managers and human resource professionals about the issue. The records here are those that would typically show up on a background check: convictions for both misdemeanors and felonies, but probably not arrests. keep reading…
A recent survey reported that nearly half of all employers conduct social media background checks on job candidates. This practice has included requiring candidates to disclose their usernames, passwords, and other credentials that provide access to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, blogs, e-mail, and other Internet content for the prospective employer’s review.
Federal and state legislators have responded with a flurry of efforts to prohibit employers from requiring candidates to disclose their social network credentials. These efforts have included calling for federal investigations about the practice, introducing bills in Congress that would prohibit the practice, and numerous state legislators introducing and passing legislation that prohibits employers from requiring candidates to disclose their access credentials to the content posted on social media cites.
What should recruiters and hiring managers do? keep reading…
Stress, hair parts, offer rejections, Groupon’s job seekers, background checking, and disabilities — we weigh in on all of them in today’s roundup.
Speaking of weight: the world’s people weigh a collective 316 million tons, of which 17 million tons is in excess globs of body fat. Who knew? Thanks to the researchers at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, now you do.
Wondering what this has to do with recruiting? Nothing, near as we can tell. (Oh, sure, we could have said hiring a fatty will mean time wasted snacking, since the average American needs almost 250 calories just to maintain the excess weight.) But we just thought this is great water cooler talk.
Now, here’s the skinny (no, we couldn’t, can’t, and won’t resist punning): North America has 6 percent of the world’s population, but carries 34 percent of the weight. Don’t go blaming Canada. The U.S. weighs in as the heaviest nation, where it takes a mere 12.2 adults to equal a ton. From now on, we’re counting how many people get on the elevator with us.
Food Stylists Are to Blame
It’s not our fault we eat too much. If those food stylists didn’t make all those dishes look so delicious, who’d eat them? It’s an up-and-coming profession that’s part of the seven awesomeist jobs we never heard of, says Brazen Careerist, a carer site for the under-30s.
Spokeo, a website full of data on consumers — job candidates — is paying $800,000 to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges about the way it marketed the profiles to HR people, recruiters, and background-checking companies, allegedly without the proper consumer protections.
A U.S. Justice Department document says, “in its marketing and advertising, the company has promoted the use of its profiles as a factor in deciding whether to interview a job candidate or whether to hire a candidate after a job interview. Spokeo purchased thousands of online advertising keywords including terms targeting employment background checks, applicant screening, and recruiting. Spokeo ran online advertisements with taglines to attract recruiters and encourage HR professionals to use Spokeo to obtain information about job candidates’ online activities.”
What the government’s getting at is that it feels Spokeo is a consumer reporting agency. And with that comes certain responsibilities. And, the feds say, Spokeo didn’t meet those responsibilities: things like making sure the information is accurate, as well as telling recruiters about their consumer-protection obligations (like what you need to know if you’re going to reject someone based on what you see on Spokeo).
More here and below.
Yahoo’s beleaguered CEO Scott Thompson is out, in a shakeup that replaced the company’s chairman of the board and added new directors chosen by a dissident shareholder.
Unable to ride out the storm over a false academic degree listed on his resume, Thompson left the company over the weekend. Yahoo issued a statement Sunday mentioning Thompson’s name briefly, and only in connection with announcing his replacement, Ross Levinsohn, as interim CEO. Levinsohn was Yahoo’s executive vice president and head of global media.
The decision to replace Thompson over his false claim of holding a degree in computer science jelled late Friday, after search firm Heidrick & Struggles denied it had anything to do with the falsification. In meetings he held to attempt to calm the waters last week, Thompson blamed a staffer at an unnamed headhunting firm for making the resume mistake, which he failed to notice for eight years.
That firm would have been Heidrick & Struggles, which was handling his placement at eBay. keep reading…
If you have ever been in a situation when checking references on a candidate you uncovered negative references and/or performance reviews, you are not alone. What you do with the information is key.
This is one of the most misunderstood, hence mishandled, situations preventing good candidates from being hired. I have seen people get poor reviews because of “sour grapes,” and it happens more often than you may think. I’ve had managers tell me negative things about a former employee, and upon diving in and asking more detailed questions, determined the negative feedback to be sour grapes or a poor fit with culture or the manager. Oftentimes a hiring manager calls a former associate of his whom the candidate worked for and gets a lousy reference. In a split second the candidate is dropped from consideration without further investigation.
The opposite holds true of positive references: if the same manager gets a glowing reference on the candidate, he makes an offer. But neither of these situations individually indicates whether or not the candidate is “right” for you.
Last Week Dan Loeb of Third Point Capital sent a letter to the board of directors of Yahoo asserting that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson actually did not have a degree in degree in computer science as his executive biography indicated. Yahoo replied that this was an “inadvertent error.” Mr. Loeb wrote a response to the board demanding his removal for cause by noon on Monday.
Stories are being written by Kara Swisher, Michael Arrington, and many others about the incident. Most articles discuss the integrity of Thompson or the board of directors itself. Some might ask the legitimate question of whether an executive of a technology company even needs a computer science degree. Answer: They don’t. After all, IBM CEO Lou Gerstner did an amazing job turning around in the 1990s after initially turning down the job because he didn’t consider himself a technology guy. It makes the actions of Thompson all the more puzzling.
Ultimately this begs the following question, “How in the world did a Fortune 500 company recruit and hire a CEO with inaccurate statements in his biography?” This might indicate symptoms of a more broad and disturbing problem, such as lack of proper recruiting budget investment, formal process, and execution of proper human capital processes. To view this as a Yahoo problem and move on would be missing a rare opportunity to drive positive change. keep reading…
On April 25, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an updated Enforcement Guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. The Guidance summarizes the EEOC’s long-held position that employers’ reliance on arrest and conviction records may have a disparate impact on individuals because of their race or national origin. Although not legally binding, the Guidance provides key insight into how the EEOC views the use of criminal records when screening applicants. keep reading…
What Facebook Reveals About Candidates
But the more relevant question here is: what do they expect to find? keep reading…
I read an article last week about job candidates being asked for their Facebook passwords so that potential employers can examine their personal activity. It also covers law enforcement agencies making similar demands of their applicants. So at the risk of getting tarred and feathered, here I go.
When did companies decide that it’s okay to invade someone’s privacy? Some candidates said that they feel like they have to say yes to this “request” since they need the work. One individual in the article referred to it as “coercion.”
Any company attempting to take advantage of candidates in this way should be ashamed. This wouldn’t have been considered even five years ago. Just because it has gotten easy to check someone’s social activity doesn’t make it appropriate to ask them for their password or that they “friend” you so you can spy on them. I can almost hear the requester respond, upon asking how s/he would feel if they would feel if asked this, “I don’t have anything to hide.” But that’s not the point. keep reading…
Calling all tech industry recruiters. Get ready to pounce. Yahoo, as we presume you’ve heard, is about to dump thousands of its employees.
Exactly who is going isn’t known publicly, though reports (all stemming from the original article on All Things D) say CEO Scott Thompson has targeted “public relations and marketing, research, marginal businesses and weaker regional efforts.” Will engineers be among those laid off? Very likely, since they’ve been a part of each of the preceding five layoffs.
Get busy reaching out now, before everyone else does. And you do know how to find these people, right? You could start here.
Happy City; Sad City
Never let it be said that we can’t be suckered by a little PR stunt. This one, though, got our attention with lists of the happiest and unhappiest U.S. cities in which to work. keep reading…